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Role of cyclonic eddy in enhancing primary and new production in the Bay of Bengal

Singh, A and Gandhi, N and Ramesh, R and Prakash, S (2015) Role of cyclonic eddy in enhancing primary and new production in the Bay of Bengal. Journal of Sea Research, 97. pp. 5-13.

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Eddies can be important in sustaining primary production in the tropical oceans, but their role for nutrient cycling is poorly understood in the under-sampled northern Indian Ocean. To assess the role of cyclonic eddies in enhancing primary production, measurements of primary production were carried out at four stations in the northern Bay of Bengal during the early winter 2007, around a cyclonic eddy close to 17.8°N, 87.5°E. Shallowing of the thermocline and halocline by 10m was observed within the eddy compared to the surroundings; mixed layer depth was also reduced within the eddy. The highest surface productivity (2.71μMCd-1) and chlorophyll a (0.18μgL-1) were found within the eddy, and the lowest, at its outer edge. Further, the eddy supplied nutrients to the surface layers, shallowing the subsurface chlorophyll maximum as well. Integrated production in the euphotic top layers was more than twice within the eddy compared to its outer edge, confirming the role of cyclonic eddies in enhancing the primary production in the otherwise less productive Bay of Bengal. Given new nitrogen input via vertical mixing, river discharge or aerosol deposition, the additional primary production due to this new nutrient input and its contribution to the total production (f-ratio, fraction of exportable organic matter) increased significantly from 0.4 to 0.7, and thus the Bay of Bengal can potentially transfer a high fraction of its total production to the deep, assisted by eddies. We suggest possible improvements in experiments for future studies, and the potential for assessing the role of eddies in biogeochemistry.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier
Uncontrolled Keywords: aerosol; assessment method; atmospheric deposition; biogeochemistry; chlorophyll a; eddy; halocline; nutrient cycling; primary production; river discharge; vertical mixing, Bay of Bengal; Indian Ocean
Subjects: Oceanography > oceanography
Depositing User: INCOIS Library
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2015 10:52
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2015 10:52

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